Life­long learn­ing a path­way to suc­cess

New Straits Times - - Higher ED - ZULITA MUSTAFA

UPON her re­turn from a sab­bat­i­cal, the editor-in-chief of a fash­ion mag­a­zine found her 26-year-old for­mer as­sis­tant tak­ing charge of the editorial floor. Armed with a busi­ness de­gree, naked am­bi­tion and an iPhone, the for­mer as­sis­tant an­nounces she has been brought in to turn the mag­a­zine into an app.

Feel­ing left out and lost among the 20-some­thing on­line writ­ers at their desks day and night, the editor-in-chief is not ready to give up her hard­earned ca­reer with­out a fight.

She started to pick up tech­nol­ogy know-how, the lingo and even learnt how to cre­ate an app.

Though this is just a fic­tional char­ac­ter in Lucy Sykes’ and Jo Pi­azza’s lat­est novel, , it re­flects the real world where Gen­er­a­tions Y and Z plus rapid changes in tech­nol­ogy are tak­ing over tra­di­tional ways of do­ing work.

It is this kind of sce­nario that prob­a­bly prompted the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, in 2011, to pub­lish its blue­print on the

that out­lines strate­gic ini­tia­tives to de­velop the life­long learn­ing in­dus­try for the 10-year pe­riod of 2011-2020.

In this blue­print, life­long learn­ing is de­fined as the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man po­ten­tial through a con­tin­u­ous sup­port­ive process which stim­u­lates and em­pow­ers in­di­vid­u­als to ac­quire all the knowl­edge, val­ues, skills and un­der­stand­ing they will re­quire through­out their life­time and to ap­ply them with con­fi­dence, cre­ativ­ity and en­joy­ment in all roles, cir­cum­stances and en­vi­ron­ment.

Univer­sity of Malaya Cen­tre for Con­tin­u­ing Ed­u­ca­tion (UMCCed) direc­tor Pro­fes­sor Datuk Dr Man­sor Md. Isa said life­long learn­ing should ben­e­fit par­tic­i­pants in the form of in­creased com­pe­tency in their work, up­grade skills, widen and up­date knowl­edge and im­prove so­cial net­work­ing.

It also equips peo­ple with skills and knowl­edge that will ad­vance their ca­reer.

A study con­ducted last year re­lated to the achieve­ment of UMCCed Ex­ec­u­tive Di­ploma grad­u­ates in­di­cates that the pro­grammes have been ben­e­fi­cial in terms of de­vel­op­ment of their ca­reers in­clud­ing a bet­ter job of­fer, pro­mo­tion and salary in­crease as well as an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther stud­ies at a higher level.

“The tar­get group is work­ing adults and there are two types who par­tic­i­pate in life­long learn­ing pro­grammes. The first are those who did not have the chance to con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion at the ter­tiary level upon fin­ish­ing sec­ondary school and who are now pre­sented with a sec­ond chance,” said Man­sor.

“The rea­sons could be due to poor aca­demic per­for­mance, fi­nan­cial or so­cial con­straints. Af­ter join­ing the work­force, they find the op­por­tu­nity to study. The sec­ond type of adult learn­ers are those who want to study be­cause they want to ad­vance their ca­reer or ac­quire skills or knowl­edge.

“These are the core life­long learn­ing par­tic­i­pants. They study be­cause they want to im­prove

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